This week, as always, I have taken you around the S.E.C. and forecast the national games of interest, so I am left with the responsibility of fulfilling my final regular obligation as a college football prognosticator . . . namely, the announcement of the national game of disinterest.
How disinteresting is the national game of disinterest? If scientists reported that the national game of disinterest was being harmed by the hole in the ozone layer, you still couldn't get even a single Baldwin brother to care about it! (Photograph from T.V. Guide.)
I love college football. I love college football so much that I will happily sit through an evening of Tuesday night Conference U.S.A. football and I take pride in the fact that, when I do so, I will be able, somehow, some way, to find a basis for rooting for one team over the other, even if I have no connection to either squad.
Each week, though, there is one game . . . one contest so mind-numbingly unimpressive, so soul-crushingly uninspiring, so dreadfully, drearily, astonishingly dull that I cannot, for the life of me, find a way to distinguish the combatants sufficiently to overcome the leaden weight of my utter and absolute indifference. This, dear reader, is the national game of disinterest.
Believe it or not, this week's national game of disinterest kicks off at 7:30 tonight on E.S.P.N.2. That's right . . . your national game of disinterest is:
Louisiana-Lafayette at Florida Atlantic
First of all, I dare you not to confuse both of these teams with different teams. I double-dog dare you.
Come on; you know as well as I do that you're not entirely clear on the difference between Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe. You're not at all sure which one used to be Northeast Louisiana and which one used to be Southwest Louisiana.
One of these teams may be flying this flag . . . unless they aren't.
You're not altogether certain which team is the Indians, which team is the Ragin' Cajuns, and whether either or both of them changed the school nickname to something more politically correct.
As if that weren't bad enough, you can't tell Florida Atlantic from Florida International. You're pretty sure at least one of them is in Miami, but you're not sure which and you don't even know definitely that it isn't both of them.
You know one of them got into a brawl with the Hurricanes in the Orange Bowl, but, honestly, you can't tell if that was this one or the other one. You don't even know if the one that's playing tonight is the one that's coached by Howard Schnellenberger or the one that's coached by that guy who isn't Howard Schnellenberger.
It'll be cool to see him on the sidelines . . . unless he isn't.
Beyond that, it's on E.S.P.N.2 on a Wednesday night. There may be no night of the week less inherently suited to watching football than Wednesday night, the night of midweek church services and (until recently) "The West Wing."
In other words, what we have here is one team you can't tell from another team playing a team you can't tell from a completely different team on a night on which you find the idea of watching college football a bit hard to fathom. Throw in a dash of indifference, drain off all caring, and heat at 450 degrees for one hour and . . . voila! You have the national game of disinterest.
Ignore it in good health.